Oakland is one of six teams to reach the postseason each of the last three years, but hasn’t made it to the AL Championship Series since 2006.
The Athletics find themselves in trouble after struggling in two areas where they did well during the regular season — scoring in late innings and not allowing home runs.
Oakland was second in the AL with 89 runs scored in the seventh inning or later. On Monday and Tuesday, they managed only two baserunners and went 1 for 18.
“Those have been our best innings. We tend to be good against potential bullpens, but they have shut us down,” Melvin said.
Oakland’s pitching staff allowed the third-fewest home runs in the AL, but the Astros have gone deep six times in the series.
The Athletics were technically the home team for the first two games, but with the coronavirus moving all postseason series to Southern California and Texas beginning with this round, they haven’t enjoyed the home-field advantage they would have if the games were at the Oakland Coliseum.
With games being played in the afternoon and the temperature above 90 degrees both days, Dodger Stadium has played smaller and been a launching pad for both teams. During the later innings, the shadows near home plate and the mound have caused problems for Oakland hitters.